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Research Guides@Tufts

HAA 100: Theories & Methods: Home


Welcome to my Research Sources page for (HAA100) Theories and Methods of Art History!

Chao Chen, your Art History Research Librarian
Email:; Tel: 617• 627• 2057

chao chen  

About Scholarly Articles and Reading Tips

Key Characteristics of a Scholarly Article

  • Author(s): scholars/researchers with credentials (e.g. PhD) and/or affiliations (e.g. university professor or similar knowledge-based organizations.)
  • (the intended) Audience: for their academic peers in the discipline/field.
  • Purpose: to further our understanding about a topic with original research, usually focusing in a narrow area of the subject (rather than to merely persuade, entertain, inform, or report.)
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly articles are vetted and improved by experts in the field before publication.
  •  Language: scholarly language with discipline specific vocabulary.
  • Structure: Relatively lengthy (at least 5 pages of text) with many citations and references to published research (footnotes and/or bibliography).

Reading Tips

A systematic approach in your reading helps you consider the article critically. A good critique is really more about your own confidence as a reader than about possession of specific knowledge. (Source: A Survival Guide for Art History Students.)

How to Read Journal Articles Like a Professor by Michael J. Nelson:

  • Reading for substance
  • Reading as a researcher
  • Reading as a writer

Citation Style

Chicago Manual of Style

We cite sources to

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Give credit to the source of an idea
  • Lend credibility to our arguments

And, we also cite sources to

  • Allow us, and others, to follow the trail back to a source
  • Bring diverse voices together in dialogue
  • Participate in a scholarly conversation, situating our own voice in that larger, ongoing academic discussion

Overviews and Bibliographies


Bibliographies & Review of Books

Finding Books and Articles

A Few Core Readings

Finding Books    

Path of Discovery in JumboSearch, (our book catalog and more)

  1. Find a relevant book (e.g., from your assigned readings?)
  2. Note the descriptive language of the Catalog record.
  3. Use that language in further searches

e.g., Click on subjects in the record to see further results and related topics; and/or combine these subject phrases with other keywords for a more focused search:

Title: Decolonising the Museum: The Curation of Indigenous Contemporary Art in Brazil
Author: Pitman, Thea
Subjects: Art museums
  Art, Brazilian
  Latin American Studies
  Museology (Museum science)
  Art & Art History

Finding Journal Articles 

1. All Subjects

2. History of Art Databases

Tip: Crash the Research Party

Subject-specific databases such as Art & Architecture Source. is where art historians and scholars are having their research party, sharing with each other their scholarship. Throw art historians/artists/ their works that interest you into the database; then "listen to" the conversations about them: how scholars have studied them? If you don’t yet have specifics in mind, entering keywords of topical themes, and observe which art historians/artists/artworks are being associated with these topics, how and why?

3. Related Subject-Databases:



**For some very recent artists/artworks or less studied past figures, you might need to use newspapers/magazine; then, apply scholarship on related themes/genres in study these new or old cases.

Current Newspapers

Historical Magazines and Newspapers

**A complete list of newspapers, current and historical.